Bill Text: TX HB10 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and an independent organization certified to manage a power region.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 31-13)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2021-05-25 - Placed on intent calendar [HB10 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB10-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Paddie, et al. (Senate Sponsor - Schwertner) H.B. No. 10
         (In the Senate - Received from the House March 31, 2021;
  April 8, 2021, read first time and referred to Committee on
  Jurisprudence; May 22, 2021, reported adversely, with favorable
  Committee Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 5, Nays 0;
  May 22, 2021, sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
 
  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR H.B. No. 10 By:  Hinojosa
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
  relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of
  Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and an independent
  organization certified to manage a power region.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 12.051(a), Utilities Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The commission is composed of five [three]
  commissioners appointed by the governor with the advice and consent
  of the senate.
         SECTION 2.  Section 12.053, Utilities Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (a-1) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  To be eligible for appointment, a commissioner must:
               (1)  be a qualified voter;
               (2)  be a citizen of the United States;
               (3)  be a resident of this state;
               (4)  be a competent and experienced administrator;
               [(4) be well informed and qualified in the field of
  public utilities and utility regulation;] and
               (5)  have at least five years of experience:
                     (A)  in the administration of business or
  government; or
                     (B)  as a practicing attorney, [or] certified
  public accountant, or professional engineer.
         (a-1)  At least two commissioners must be well informed and
  qualified in the field of public utilities and utility regulation.
         (b)  A person is not eligible for appointment as a
  commissioner if the person:
               (1)  at any time during the one year [two years]
  preceding appointment:
                     (A)  personally served as an officer, director,
  owner, employee, partner, or legal representative of a public
  utility regulated by the commission or of an affiliate or direct
  competitor of a public utility regulated by the commission; [or]
                     (B)  owned or controlled, directly or indirectly,
  more than a 10 percent interest in a public utility regulated by the
  commission or in an affiliate or direct competitor of a public
  utility regulated by the commission; or
                     (C)  served as an executive officer listed under
  Section 1, Article IV, Texas Constitution, other than the secretary
  of state, or a member of the legislature; or
               (2)  is not qualified to serve under Section 12.151,
  12.152, or 12.153.
         SECTION 3.  Section 13.022(a), Utilities Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The counsellor must:
               (1)  be licensed to practice law in this state and a
  resident of this state;
               (2)  have demonstrated a strong commitment to and
  involvement in efforts to safeguard the rights of the public; and
               (3)  possess the knowledge and experience necessary to
  practice effectively in utility proceedings.
         SECTION 4.  Section 39.151, Utilities Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (d), (g), and (g-1) and adding Subsections
  (g-2), (g-3), and (g-4) to read as follows:
         (d)  The commission shall adopt and enforce rules relating to
  the reliability of the regional electrical network and accounting
  for the production and delivery of electricity among generators and
  all other market participants, or may delegate to an independent
  organization responsibilities for adopting [establishing] or
  enforcing such rules. Rules [Any such rules] adopted by an
  independent organization and [any] enforcement actions taken by the
  organization under delegated authority from the commission are
  subject to commission oversight and review and may not take effect
  before receiving commission approval. An independent organization
  certified by the commission is directly responsible and accountable
  to the commission. The commission has complete authority to
  oversee and investigate the organization's finances, budget, and
  operations as necessary to ensure the organization's
  accountability and to ensure that the organization adequately
  performs the organization's functions and duties. The organization
  shall fully cooperate with the commission in the commission's
  oversight and investigatory functions. The commission may take
  appropriate action against an organization that does not adequately
  perform the organization's functions or duties or does not comply
  with this section, including decertifying the organization or
  assessing an administrative penalty against the organization. The
  commission by rule shall adopt procedures governing
  decertification of an independent organization, selecting and
  certifying a successor organization, and transferring assets to the
  successor organization to ensure continuity of operations in the
  region. The commission may not implement, by order or by rule, a
  requirement that is contrary to an applicable federal law or rule.
         (g)  To maintain certification as an independent
  organization under this section, an organization's governing body
  must be composed of persons specified by this section and selected
  in accordance with formal bylaws or protocols of the organization.
  The bylaws or protocols must be approved by the commission and must
  reflect the input of the commission. The bylaws must specify the
  process by which appropriate stakeholders elect members and, for
  unaffiliated members, prescribe professional qualifications for
  selection as a member. The bylaws must require that every member of
  the governing body be a resident of this state and prohibit a
  legislator from serving as a member. The bylaws may require the use
  of a professional search firm to identify candidates for
  [membership of unaffiliated] members described by Subdivisions
  (4), (5), and (6). The process must allow for commission input in
  identifying candidates. The governing body must be composed of:
               (1)  the chairman of the commission as an ex officio
  nonvoting member;
               (2)  the counsellor as an ex officio voting member
  representing residential and small commercial consumer interests;
               (3)  the chief executive officer of the independent
  organization as an ex officio voting member, who must be appointed
  by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate;
               (4)  six market participants elected by their
  respective market segments to serve two-year [one-year] terms,
  with:
                     (A)  one representing independent generators,
  elected by a majority vote of the members of this market segment who
  each own and control five percent or more of the installed
  generation capacity located in the power region;
                     (B)  one representing investor-owned utilities;
                     (C)  one representing power marketers;
                     (D)  one representing retail electric providers
  who may not be affiliated with an independent generator;
                     (E)  one representing municipally owned
  utilities; and
                     (F)  one representing electric cooperatives;
               (5)  one member representing industrial consumer
  interests and elected by the industrial consumer market segment to
  serve a two-year [one-year] term;
               (6)  one member representing large commercial consumer
  interests selected in accordance with the bylaws to serve a
  two-year [one-year] term; and
               (7)  five members unaffiliated with any market segment
  who must be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of
  the senate [and selected by the other members of the governing body]
  to serve two-year [three-year] terms.
         (g-1)  The bylaws of an independent organization must
  require that the [The] presiding officer and vice presiding officer 
  of the governing body must be:
               (1)  [one of the] members described by Subsection
  (g)(7); and
               (2)  selected by the governor with the advice and
  consent of the senate.
         (g-2)  A person does not qualify for appointment as a member
  of the governing body of an independent organization under
  Subsection (g)(3) or (7) if the person is required to register as a
  lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code. In making an
  appointment under Subsection (g)(3) or (7), the governor:
               (1)  shall give preference to a person who has
  executive-level business experience representing a range of
  industries; and
               (2)  may consider a person recommended by the
  legislature.
         (g-3)  Members of the governing body of an independent
  organization certified under this section must serve staggered
  terms.  A member described by Subsection (g)(4) or (5) must serve a
  term that expires in an even-numbered year.  A member described by
  Subsection (g)(6) or (7) must serve a term that expires in an
  odd-numbered year.  As soon as practicable after the date a member
  of the governing body's term expires, the appropriate authority
  must appoint or arrange for the election of a replacement in the
  same manner as the original appointment or election. If a vacancy
  occurs on the governing body, the appropriate authority must
  appoint or arrange for the election of a successor in the same
  manner as the original appointment or election to serve for the
  remainder of the unexpired term.
         (g-4)  To maintain certification as an independent
  organization under this section, the organization's governing body
  must establish and implement a formal process for adopting new
  protocols or revisions to existing protocols. The process must
  require that new or revised protocols may not take effect until the
  commission approves a market impact statement describing the new or
  revised protocols.
         SECTION 5.  In making appointments of commissioners to the
  Public Utility Commission of Texas under Section 12.051, Utilities
  Code, as amended by this Act, the governor shall assign staggered
  terms to the commissioners appointed to fill vacancies and to the
  commissioners appointed to new positions to ensure that the
  requirements of Section 30a, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, are
  met.
         SECTION 6.  An independent organization certified under
  Section 39.151, Utilities Code, by the Public Utility Commission of
  Texas before September 1, 2021, shall modify the organization to
  comply with Section 39.151, Utilities Code, as amended by this Act,
  not later than September 1, 2021. After September 1, 2021, the
  Public Utility Commission of Texas may decertify an independent
  organization that does not comply with Section 39.151, Utilities
  Code, as amended by this Act.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
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